program notes by composition > T > Tango, de antaño a hogaño

Tango, de antaño a hogaño

Daniel French

Tango, de antaño a hogaño. The composer writes:

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) is synonymous with the Argentine tango. [His] tangos, defined by dissonant, exotic harmonies, surprising rhythmic twists, and long, sensual melodies, are a kind of marriage of flamenco and jazz, and are equally at home in the concert hall and dance hall. “Tango, de antaño a hogaño: homenaje a Astor Piazzolla” (“Tango, from the Past to the Present: Homage to Astor Piazzolla”) is my [tribute] to the Piazzolla tango, a kind of marriage of my own style with his.

I found the wind band to be a surprisingly capable vehicle for the tango, amenable to the stark contrasts and the twists and turns that define the genre. Tango shifts frequently between large, powerful instrumentation and much more intimate moments, between rhythmically active passages and long lulls. Acrobatic solo lines in the flute, clarinet, and saxophones echo bebop and dance music, as do the double bass ... My tango embraces these reflections on the past while—I hope you will agree—saying something new as well.

[This piece] was written for the Palatine Concert Band in celebration of its 60th anniversary. I am honored to contribute my voice to the occasion, and incredibly grateful to Dr. Frederick Lowe and his musicians for embracing new music and new challenges.

Daniel French (b.1988) is a contemporary composer whose diverse body of work includes music for orchestras, wind bands, chamber ensembles, and voice. He has a particular affinity for the American wind band and writes for ensembles at all levels. He serves regularly as guest conductor and clinician, and maintains an active private studio.

He studied composition at the Manhattan School of Music, where he earned his Bachelor’s in Music Composition. Born in Rockford, Illinois, he is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Music Composition at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Last updated on May 9, 2016 by Palatine Concert Band